News of the day

When catching up on the news of the day, a good place to start is the Guardian newspaper. I like to go straight to picture desk live and view some of the news of the day summarized.

In health news an interesting read claiming that cutting the umbilical cord of a baby too early can cause anaemia. They want the NHS to view its policy of clamping the cord straight away, and instead wait 30 seconds to a minute before doing so.

“Research has shown that delayed cord-clamping of more than 30 seconds may benefit the newborn in reducing anaemia. It also allows time for the transfusions of placental blood to the newborn, especially in cases of premature birth.”


In law changes, campaigners are looking to change the law so that 17 year olds are treated like juveniles as opposed to adults.

“It argues that 17-year-olds do not know what is in their best interest and should routinely be provided with the support of a parent or appropriate adult when in custody.”


Another good place is to head on over to twitter and read a variety of factual and strange news stories. Heres some i picked out from my feed:

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Ramadan is here

So tomorrow is the first day of ramadan, and where most people moan at the slow pace and lack of work done during this time, I’m really excited. Supermarkets are decorated with colourful material and shelves stacked up with dates, nuts, dried fruit, hibiscus juice and all manner of festive products. It’s a time for people to gain that spiritually that seems to be lacking in their lives, and of course to be extra generous in giving to the poor.

I also just found out that Egypt’s Intelligence Chief (and VP for a few days during the revolution) Omair Suleiman has suddenly died while receiving treatment in the US. I can’t see many people shedding a tear for him over here in Egypt. Instead they’re probably wondering why Mubarak is still alive!

Here’s some interesting articles about the man and the claims of his involvement in torture:

abc news

AL-Jazeera: Profile of Omar Suleiman

Olympics 2012

The Olympics are upon us in a few days in London, and with all the bad press of missiles being placed on East London rooftops, the spiralling cost of the Olympics and the farce that is the Orbit Tower (even though its received some good reviews, in my eyes paying £15 to go up a scrap metal helter skelter is ridiculous) it’ll be interesting to see how the games actually do.

For some inspirational Guerilla art check out this this group who tackle street advertising and call themselves Brandalism

Business cards and Ramadan countdown

Since i’ve last wrote, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces have disolved Parliament, Mohammed Morsi won the Presidency in Cairo and has been sworn in and the countdown to ramadan has begun.

I’ve been very busy lately tending to my Arabic lessons and doing some freelance writing. I also took a trip down to Attaba last weekend with my husband to get his business cards made. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Attaba then let me explain. It’s a maze of windy streets, polluted, crowded, full of Del Boy types and most importantly exciting. When walking through you want to stop and gaze at the wood workshops, the bright display of fresh vegetables, the unlimited amount of work tools being sold and the make shift stalls selling taser guns. But be warned, its dangerous to not pay attention in this place as you could get crushed by the rusty cars or swarm of people unsympathetic to your browsing.

When you see this place you do wonder how Egypt is experiencing any economic problems.

Also the countdown to ramadan has begun. I know because I was in my supermarket last week doing a late night shop and they’ve decked the place out in colourful cloth, arranged bags of nuts, dates, figs and dried beans near the entrance and have started the special offers. I usually hate shopping in ramadan as the shops tend to be busier (surely you eat less not more?) and people are crazier (could be the lack of food). This is my 3rd ramadan here and I am excited beyond belief. Egypt truly is magical during this blessed month.


Unless you’ve had your head under a blanket for the past few weeks than you will not have failed to see the elections in Egypt. You can’t enjoy the scenery around Cairo without it being rudely interrupted by the smirking ageing face of Ahmed Shafiq or the teddy bear mug of Muhammad Morsi. I have a feeling the faded torn posters will still be around even when the elections are over.

Right now there is news coming in that Morsi has won the presidency but the margin is too tight yet to confirm. I must say that it has come as a surprise, considering most people were predicting (or fearing) that Shafiq would win. Of course with this being Egypt unpredictable events happen often and are part and parcel of life here. The SCAF (Supreme Council of Armed Forces) has disolved Parliament. That means that a new Parliament will have to be elected soon, but it also means that SCAF has a lot of power.

In other news (concerning me), I went to get my visa renewed but was denied one and told to go back to my country by an old bored woman with a face like a sour lemon. I, of course need my visa renewed to get out of the country so I’m considering going back again and trying my luck. Hopefully I won’t experience any forms of ‘racism’ on my trip back.

Election day

Went to see a polling station near my house today and the queues were surprisingly small. By 9:30am the sun was scorching. Some women bought along their colourful umbrellas that provided them some shade whilst they waited to cast their vote.

Pre election news

Watched a classic Woody Allen film yesterday called Bananas, which is more of a comedy. Yet with all woody Allen films this one was about relationships with his trademark humour, that only he can get away with.

So Egyptian elections are being held tomorrow and thursday, and the atmosphere is rife with talk about who people think should win. You can’t go anywhere without someone asking for your opinion. I’m not Egyptian so how would I know? Why ask an expat, what is best for Egypt? I must admit that I’ve not been following the election trail until recently and even then I couldn’t give an opinion on who is best for the country. All I can comment on is the fact that all the candidates are past their sell by date.

Lets see what’s being said out there…

Ed Husain has some interesting opinions, even if I don’t necessarily agree with him on most occasions

and my favourite one of his..

Journalist Evan Hill


Election photo story

The Guardian 

Egypt election: nationalist Hamdeen Sabahy offers third way

Muslim Brotherhood stages show of strength on eve of Egyptian election

Election colours

So elections in two days, but as usual life goes on. People still getting on with their daily routine. Today I bought some vegetables and fresh fruit. Pretty mundane, but that’s life moving on.

Saw a massive Abd al Fatooh rally in a park in Zamalek on friday, with jubilant supporters waving vibrant orange flags with his face embedded on them. Orange the colour that has come to symbolise his campaign. Orange the colour that is associated with joy and represents enthusiasm, creativity, determination, attraction and success.

Abu Al Fatooh. Picture taken from the internet

So what colours are the other candidates using?

Amr Mousa

Amr Mousa strikes a dignified pose. Picture taken from internet

Amr Mousa looks relaxed, without a tie, his top shirt button undone and his hands placed in his pocket. Image taken from the internet

His Election posters are reminiscent of hollywood movies with the camera angled from below to make him appear tall and powerful. He is looking into the distance, contemplating the future of Egypt, and looks serious and in control. Exactly what egypt needs right now. His posters also feature mosques and churches in the background, telling us that he supports all people no matter what faith and also that his supporters are people from every background.

His second poster shows a more relaxed looking candidate, one who isn’t afraid to let loose, take off his tie and smile showing his perfectly whitened teeth. Its very unusual for a candidate to smile open mouthed, so I was shocked to see this, but I think it works well. Even though he’s 76 the relax manner gives him a certain youth like quality.

His posters feature the colour blue. Blue is calming for the mind and body, but symbolises piety and sincerity and is linked to consciousness and intellect. It is also a strong masculine colour.

Muhammad Morsee

Muhammad Morsee. Image taken from the internet

Morsee’s election poster is not about gimmicks. Theres no fancy Hollywood graphics . Here he just looks straight at the voters and says politely “Vote for me”. The colour red on his poster is associated with fire and blood and also love, energy, vitality, power, passion and determination. He wants the people to know that he’s the one to bring a change to Egypt.

Ahmed Shafiq

Ahmed Shafiq means business. His poster says “Action, not just talk” Image taken from the internet

His poster shows a faintly smiling Shafiq who wants your votes. Plain and simple. The blue symbolises knowledge, integrity and seriousness.

So an election poster isn’t just a poster but a vital tool in controlling how a person casts their vote. Colours affect us more than we realise and maybe when we decide who we will vote for, we determine our choices based on the poster, without even realising it. So next time you see one of these campaigns, stop and think about the colours, images and the tag lines.

For more information on what colours represent check this website out